How to Run and Not Grow Wearyby Lydia Powers
If I’m going to be honest, I often write from a place of my deepest need. When I finally sit down in front of my flickering screen and blank Word document, my brain is forced to slow down long enough to process something that the Lord is doing in my life or those around me. Until then, life seems to move at hyper speed.
Case in point, by the time this is published, October will be almost over, and Thanksgiving will be right around the corner. You may be reading this sipping a pumpkin spice latte, taking a break from raking leaves, or shuffling your kids from practice to practice, but you will most definitely not be hanging out at your local pool. Just like that, the season changed. With it changed the pace of your life, the expectation of how clean your house would be on any given weeknight, and how much time your child would spend at the kitchen table before their homework was finally over. (Let’s hear it for that collective sigh of relief.)
Life can get really fast, if we let it. A race from beginning to end, with only enough time in between to garnish enough food and sleep to keep us alive, albeit barely.
And then, in the Lord’s wonderful mercy, the ever-quickening pace of our lives hits a proverbial speed bump. For whatever reason, the pace slows. It could last for a moment, or for a season, but in either case it is not without purpose. There is drawing in the slowing.
“Do you not know…”
It feels so uncomfortable, doesn’t it? The slowing, the settling. It has a way of getting to us because we’re not used to it. It could feel annoying, or even exhausting, but it does not draw back due to its lack of attractive qualities. So, we slow. We try to settle. And we don’t know what to do.
Suddenly we find ourselves lost, wandering, and eventually subscribing to a craft-of-the-month club as a way to channel our “free time”. Before we know it, that sweet, uncomfortable margin of time that we were experiencing has been voluntarily traded for a well-designed package wrapped in glitter and discontentment.
“Have you not heard…”
Do you see what just happened? Too often, the very moment that we have an open space in our lives is the same moment that we compulsively fill. We are addicted to fast, to perfectly cultivated, and have learned how to live a life with little to no margin.
But at what cost?
Before we know it, we blame our frenetic lives on our early morning DIY projects. “Who has time for peace and stillness when you’re cleaning up glitter?”
Despite the abundant lack of peace, we continue and drink much too-quickly from the well of earthly wisdom. It tells us, Keep going, keep scheduling, keep channeling. Clearly, you’re just not trying hard enough.
“The Lord is the Everlasting God…”
And then we burn out and wonder why. Our eyes are rimmed by exhaustion, our bodies worn by lack of nutrition. Our calendars are packed, our inboxes full, and our hearts? Absolutely empty.
“He will not grow tired or weary…And His understanding no one can fathom.”
In our quietest moments, before the sun rises or just before we drift to sleep, we can often hear the echoes of our empty hearts.
“I’m doing absolutely everything I can, and I am absolutely exhausted.”
Bump. What was that? Was that another speed bump?
And just like that, he slows us down again, and draws us back into the possibility of living a gentle and quiet life. In this space, we’re once again invited to reevaluate our priorities and obtain the mind of Christ. It’s true —we can learn how to run the race of life and not grow weary in well doing.
Run and not grow weary?
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31
God never tires of teaching us, and will always draw us back until we learn the discipline of drawing near. He longs for us to be close, and is bidding us to find the margin and choose him over everything that seeks to steal our attention.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5
“So…that craft-of-the-month club was a bad idea?”